About Italian Wine

About Italian Wine
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines.

Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades.

As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy.

Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Tenuta Rocca 2013 Bussia Barolo DOC
95 points
Light garnet color. Aromas of red licorice and peony with a tannic, lively, dry medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long black licorice, allspice, dried raspberry, rosemary, and tobacco finish with cottony tannins. A fruity and well-structured Barolo with tannins built for the long haul; this is one to cellar until the finest occasion.
Alea Ludendo 2013  Elba Aleatico Passito
95 points
Deep purple color. Fruity, floral aromas of sugared plums, pressed violet, honeycomb, sweet cigars, and dark chocolate with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, long ginger, saffron, dried figs, mint creme, and molasses cookies finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A delightful and nuanced Dessert Wine to finish an excellent meal; just lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Dessert Wine
Villadoria 2015 Senatore Primo Piemonte DOC
94 points
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Clean, floral, fresh, fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of spray roses, dried cranberry, clove, and wild strawberry with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, refreshing, buoyant rose wood, raspberry, orange zest, and blueberry finish with silky, soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. A fresh, charming blend from Piedmont with lovely structure and pretty fruit and floral notes.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Recchia 2010 Ca Bertoldi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
94 points
Black garnet color. Aromas of stewed plums, spray roses, herb garden, and sweet tobacco with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long dark chocolate, cherry-coconut bar, candied tangerine peel, sundried tomato, green almond, and mocha finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and fruit-forward Amarone that should please any fan of the style.
94 points $39.99
Monteversa 2014 Rossodiversa Colli Euganei
94 points
Light garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of tar, freshly turned earth, foraged mushrooms, and ripe sour cherry with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, subtle, medium-long graphite, forest berries, dried fig, and dried herbs and lavender finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. A dreamy, slatey, terrior-driven red to take seriously.
La Bella Sud 2013 Riserva Biferno Rosso Biferno DOC
93 points
Black violet color. Baked aromas and flavors of blackberry, black tea, grenadine, and carnation with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, interesting, long dried mushrooms and cigars finish with firm tannins. A pleasingly chewy red with great structure and balance; pair away!
Sweet Bitch NV Sparkling Moscato
93 points
Best Buy
Pale silvery straw color. Fruity, sweet aromas and flavors of peach custard pie, golden raisin bread pudding, and caramel apple with a satiny, tangy, spritzy, moderately sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, long candied tangerine and fruit cocktail finish with fine, fruit tannins. A delicious and vibrant sweet wine that will be super versatile and widely appealing; drinks like a fine Moscato d’Asti but frizzante.
93 points $11.99 Best Buy
Nativ 2015 Blu Onice Irpinia Aglianico DOC
93 points
Clear black violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of ripe banana with brown sugar, cassis liqueur, chocolate butterscotch chews with shaved coconut, creme de violet, and pomegranate with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, compelling, long cantaloupe, fruit cake, vanilla-scented tobacco, and chocolate genache with pistachio paste finish with chewy tannins and heavy oak. A giant Aglianico with an Italian-American sensibility; try pairing with dessert!
Villadoria 2014  Barbaresco DOCG
93 points
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of smoky clove, carob, thyme, crushed dried roses, and creme de cassis with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long hint of tobacco finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A steak-friendly Barbaresco with enticing herbal notes and mouthfilling tannins.
93 points $29.99
Reva 2013  Barolo DOCG
93 points
Brown brick red color. Spicy aromas and flavors of spiced berries and nuts, toasted meringue with mint, and dried flower with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long craisins and dried sour cherries, cedar cigar box, and earth finish with dusty, firm tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant and pure Barolo that will be sensational with roasted meats.
93 points $54.99